It's not just about the gas prices, it's also about the value of your time.
If you live an extra half-hour away from work, that's five hours a week, two hundred and fifty hours a year - fifteen 16-hour days of being awake and in the car. That's in addition to two gallons a day, 500 gallons a year, $2000 in fuel.
But - how much is your job worth? If you make $25K a year, that's $500 a week, $12.50 an hour, $100/day . . . add an hour to the commute and eight dollars in fuel, and so it's a nine-hour day for $92, $10.22 an hour - the commute is costing you $2.28 an hour!
If you make $75K, $1500/week, you probably have a longer day, too - maybe you're working 50 hours a week, so it's $300 a day, $30/hr. $292 after gas, $26.54 an hour, the commute is costing you $3.46 an hour.
So you're really paying for that extra commute, in terms of hard cash dollars and precious life time - if you're thinking about living in the suburbs to provide a better lifestyle for your family, realize that they're going to spend five extra hours a week without you, and it's going to cost a couple of thousand dollars a year just in gas! (we haven't even calculated the wear-and-tear on a car).
Now, $2000 may not seem like a lot, but it's $166/mo, and you can carry quite a bit more mortgage with $166/mo, can't you?!